St. Peter, Minn. – Although the Gustavus softball team’s offense showed improvement compared to its last six games, it still wasn’t enough against Bethel University on Tuesday afternoon at the Gustie Softball Field. The Gusties suffered their second consecutive sweep, falling 6-4 in game one and 8-4 in game two. Gustavus concludes the 2013 regular season 12-17 overall and 9-9 in the MIAC, while Bethel moves to 23-13 overall and 14-6 in the MIAC.
Game One Recap
After Bethel drew blood first with a run in the top of the first inning, Gustavus answered with two runs in the bottom half to grab a 2-1 lead. Brittany Brenke (Jr., Le Sueur, Minn.) led the inning off with a double to the warning track of the left-center field gap. Brenke was then moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jessica Williams (Fr., Plymouth, Minn.), and Kailey Morgan (So., Mound, Minn.) drove her in with a hard liner to the shortstop. Carly Klass (So., Richfield, Minn.) brought in the other run of the inning with a sacrifice fly to center to score Morgan.
Bethel answered quickly in the top of the second when Tara Schinke lifted a home run over the right-center field fence to tie the game at 2-2.
Between the third and six innings, Gustavus starter Kate Rentschler (Sr., Lakefield, Minn.) allowed just one Bethel hitter to reach base.
Gustavus re-claimed the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning thanks to a two-run single by Morgan that brought home Christina Riester (Sr., Wabasha, Minn.) and Brenke. Riester and Brenke recorded back-to-back singles to kick-start the inning, as Gustavus led 4-2 at that point.
Brenke and Morgan both finished with multiple hits in the game. Brenke went 2-for-3 with two runs and a double, while Morgan went 2-for-3 with one run and three RBI.
In the top of the seventh inning with a 4-2 advantage, disaster struck for the Gusties. With runners on second and third with no outs, Rachel Gilbert hit a three-run home run to put the Royals on top 5-4. Although Bethel added another run later in the same inning on a Sorensen double, the Gilbert bomb turned out to be the back-breaker.
Kate Rentschler suffered the loss and dropped to 5-9 on the year. She allowed six runs (four earned) on eight hits in seven innings. Bethel’s Karli Persson picked up the win after giving up four runs on seven hits in a complete game.
Game Two Recap
The Royals jumped all over the over Gustavus in game two, scoring seven unanswered runs in their first two at-bats. Bethel scored three runs on four hits in the top of the first and four runs on five hits in the top of the second.
Gustavus was able to cut the lead to 7-1 in the bottom of the second inning when Kate Rentschler drove a pitch over the right field wall. The home run was Rentschler’s second of the year.
After Bethel scored its final run of the game in the top of third, Gustavus responded with a run in the bottom of the inning. Kailey Morgan drove in Christina Riester with a single past the third baseman and Gustavus trailed 8-2.
Following two complete scoreless innings, the Gusties picked up two more runs in sixth to bring the score to a final at 8-4. With two outs and the bases loaded, Brittany Brenke lined a pitch to center field to plate Brooke Falk (So., Glenwood, Minn.) and Carly Klass (So., Richfield, Minn.). Brenke led the Gusties at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a walk and two RBI.
Courtney Saurer earned the game two victory, while Sarah Rozell suffered the loss. Saurer allowed four runs on four hits in seven innings. Rozell fell to 6-6 on the season after giving up eight runs (six earned) on 14 hits.
The Gustavus softball team will now gear up for the MIAC Playoffs set to take place this weekend at Caswell Park in Mankato, Minn. The new format of this year’s tournament will feature four three-team pools playing round-robin games on Friday, May 3, with the four first-place teams advancing from each pool into a four-team, double-elimination tournament on Saturday, May 4, and Sunday, May 5. For more information, please go to the 2013 MIAC Playoff website set up by the conference.